Are Child Orthodontics Worth It? - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Are Child Orthodontics Worth It?

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child orthodontics

What are child orthodontics? Why do children need braces and are they even worth the cost? There are over 4.5 million people that wear braces each year. Many of those are teenagers, but at least 25% are adults and a large portion are children. Child orthodontics are very important for correcting problems before a child grows older and the jaw is harder to fix. When certain orthodontic problems are left until later years, those problems can become severe, complicating issues and lengthen the overall treatment time needed to correct them. This can cost you much more money, time, and discomfort for your child in the future. Child orthodontics are important and worth the time and cost for many patients. See why that is and how they can help your child!


Child Orthodontics: When to Receive Braces

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic visit between the ages of 7 and 8. This is a vital time to see if bite and alignment problems are present. As children age and become adolescents and eventually adults, the jaw stops growing and forming. Once the jaw stops its growth, orthodontic issues are much harder to correct if they involve jaw misalignment or bite issues. Most children will not need orthodontic treatment at an early age, but some will. Dr. T.C. Hardy practices a conservative approach to child orthodontics and only performs treatment if that treatment is needed and will benefit your child.


Bite and Alignment Problems

Bite or alignment problems can cause serious issues in children if left untreated. A child may be left with a speech impediment or chewing, speaking, biting, etc., could become very difficult as they age. “Malocclusion” is a term used to describe a bad bite. There are common bite and alignment problems that children can have. Some of these bites include:

  • Overbite – The upper jaw rests too far forward in front of the teeth on the lower jaw. The upper jaw should rest on top of the lower jaw, with the front upper teeth being slightly in front of the front lower teeth.
  • Underbite – The upper jaw and front teeth rest behind the lower jaw instead of on top of the lower jaw and slightly forward. This can affect the ability to chew properly and can lead to jaw and joint pain, headaches, earaches and more.
  • Crossbite – With crossbite, the teeth are slanted in different directions, with some of them being more towards the tongue and others being more towards the cheeks. This can cause abnormal facial development, jaw problems, wear on the teeth, pain and more.
  • Openbite – Openbite refers to an opening (or gap) in the teeth when the upper and lower jaws come together. When the mouth is closed, there is a gap between the upper and lower front teeth. This can create problems with speaking such as speech impediments and lisps.

Bite and alignment problems can cause the jaws to form abnormally, which lead to speech problems. With abnormal bites, patients will have trouble eating and chewing properly and will experience side effects such as pain. Bite and alignment problems can be corrected much easier in children through braces instead of correcting the problems with surgery as an adult.


Braces for Teenagers and Adults

Teenagers and adults wear braces more often than children. However, for adolescents and adults, orthodontic care is generally to correct crooked teeth instead of bite and alignment. There are patients that are older and correct their bites, but it’s a much more complicated process. Child orthodontics can easily correct problems that are more severe as you age. To correct bite and alignment when you’re older, more extensive surgeries and even possible breakage of the jaw is required to fix the problems that are there. Those complications simply are not there for children while the jaw is still forming and malleable.


Are Braces Worth It?

Braces are wonderful for straightening a smile. Millions of people receive braces to form their smile correctly. This care can bring confidence to a teenager who is still in school or to an adult that wants a leg up in their professional career. Studies show that braces make people more confident and more willing to share their smile with others. Studies also show that people with straighter smiles are also perceived as more successful, trustworthy, and attractive. For many, a person with a straight smile has a higher chance of being hired for a job than someone with crooked teeth. There are many benefits a straighter smile can bring you, that makes braces worth it for teenagers and adults alike.


Are Child Orthodontics Worth It?

We believe that child orthodontics can only help your child. Having an examination around 7 and 8 years old can help prevent your child from developing orthodontic issues. Many of these issues are already present around this age, so we can stop the progression quickly with child orthodontics via braces. Even if you don’t detect problems with your child’s dental health, there are still many advantages of child orthodontics that include:

  • Monitoring the progress of incoming teeth
  • Monitoring facial and jaw development to reduce the need for surgery in the future
  • Detecting hidden dental problems
  • Guiding incoming teeth into the correct position
  • Reducing the risk for future impacted teeth
  • Reducing the risk of permanent tooth extractions (due to decay or insufficient space in the mouth)

We believe all of these benefits make child orthodontics well worth your time and effort in keeping your child’s mouth as healthy as possible.


Your Care

Whether you believe child orthodontics is worth it or not, we definitely recommend seeing a dentist and an orthodontist frequently anyways. Seeing a dentist can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease that are so chronic and prevalent throughout the United States. Seeing an orthodontist (even while very young) can stop bite and alignment problems from becoming severe. Orthodontic care in general can boost confidence as it straightens the teeth while also decreasing your risk for tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about child orthodontics, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003!